Part 1 THE GIRL WHO TALKED TOO MUCH
Part 2 THE GIRL WHO LAUGHED TOO MUCH
Part 3 THE GIRL WHO LOVED TOO MUCH
I was sitting in a boat which was rowing in the middle of the river while the Sun look tired and was ready to set down, calling it a day. There was no one else around. I had no idea how I reached here.
Nothing seemed clear until one familiar voice called me from the bank, situated in the east. I searched for the oars, in the boat, but there was none, so I folded my sleeves and started to push the water back so that the boat moves in the desired direction. When I reached halfway the voice faded and a sudden horrific laugh started to reverb from the western bank, this laugh was also familiar but I choose not to move in that direction. It was getting darker, not a single light was seen at the edge of the river. I was bewildered. Suddenly I saw a little lamp at some distance, it was actually another boat which was slowly coming in my direction, there were three girls sitting inside, two of them were familiar, their faces was golden, innocent, and a mud like finishing just the way models of Sabyasachi looks, but the one in the center had a long veil that was touching her knees. When this other boat reached nearby, it was hit by a sudden typhoon, our boats faded like a sand castle, leaving behind us, all drenched in the cold water of the river. The water was deep, I was struggling to be on the surface, flapping my hands, shaking legs. Tired. Then I saw that the three girls flew in three different directions with their colored wings. I was left, wingless. Drowned to death.
My eyes opened and water from the AC vent, drenched my shirt. It was cold residual of condensed water. Toxic, I guess. I was at the upper berth of the train. Upper berth always reminds me of an old saying by a childhood friend “I usually preferred the upper berth in train, so that the beauty of slightly low necklines couldn’t go unseen.” Every time I think about it I laugh. So as today.
The train took a halt at Gurgaon station, I washed up, put on a nice dry T-shirt tucked it in, Akashy Kumar style, fasten my shoe laces and stood at the gate of the train. It was night, around seven – seven thirty, things outside weren’t quiet visible due to haziness of pertaining pollution in the suburbs of NCR. The train triggered and passed through, Brijwasan..Mohammadpur..Palam…Delhi Cantt..Kirtinagar..Patel Nagar.. Dayabasti.. and reached Sarai Rohilla and terminated at sharp eight.
I pulled my bag from the lower birth seat, and for a moment looked at the seat where the girls who laughed too much was sitting, I wished I could have spent some more moments with her. I de boarded the train and took a seat near book stall at the platform. I stare at the train for twenty minutes, the iron boxes that travels miles and miles, watches happy and crying faces, smells different country sides, tastes variety of emotions some in breakfast and some in dinner, Hears politics, criticism, sports, invectives and of course the ear penetrating voice of tea vendors, Chaii le lo chaii…. Everyone slowly sublimed from the platform, only I, the book seller and one old wrinkled dog who had patches and unhaired regions all over his body, remained there.
“Bhaiya ye wale ka price kitna hai?” (How much does it cost) A bubbly voice scattered from behind the book stall, there was someone else too, on that platform, she was on my blind spot, I shifted a little to see her but still couldn’t.
“Dhaisau ka hai madam” (250 rupees madam) said the vendor, whose yellow t shirt said Geetapress Gorakhpur, Delhi- platform no.12. I struggled to get a glimpses of her but failed, apparently business today and economic times had been proved to be a great hindrance. She shifted a little to my visible spot, and my eyes only catched her Garad saree, white silken red boarded with golden embroideries and sleeveless blouse, her hands, shoulder to the tip of her middle finger, slender and emancipating the lessons of cruelty from life and bringing more and more positivity to it, was fair like lactose. Her Sebaceous glands were kind enough to secrete a more dramatic excretions which perhaps increased at the moments, and that too made her more beautiful. I had just a little sideways glance. By this time I was sure that she was a Bengali and I was a fool. I sat there watching the train slipping away and the big fat rat on the track whose eyes looked around for eatables.
I recalled this day, from the moment Ms Verbose just turned away and walked, a nonchalant mysterious girl, non-typical, to the moment of my encounter with laughter bazooka whose laugh could reverberate the whole Vatican city, and then my colossal stupidity of letting both of them GO. While I was in the middle of these thought Ms Bengal (oh yes that’s what we are calling her now) came and sat on the adjacent seat, of course at safer distance, she smelled like roses, where as I smelt like rock salt. She was holding a book in her hand whose title said “the girl in room no. 105”.I wondered what kind of book is that, horror, thriller, Sci-fi… but then I saw the name of the author on it, and it was none other than the Punjab’s answer to Shakespeare, a former Nach Baliye judge (Really?), a motivational speaker and a plagiarist. I wondered whose script has he copied this time. Anyhow so she was sitting adjacent to me and suddenly her phone rings, a conventional mi ringtone, she picked it up.
“Haylo maa aami Dili paumche gechi…. haan amar bandhu aamake nite asache….haan maa aapni chinta karbe naa…. thika ache… thika ache…” (Hello mother, I just reached Delhi…. yes my friend is coming to fetch me up,,,, yes mother you don’t worry,,,,ok,,,ok.) she said and hung up, and then looked at me, her eyes met mine, my eyes met hers, this moment was even flawless then her smooth Bengali that I always wished to learn, but the only Bengali I learnt was, Kemo ache, Eta kote kore, khub beshi dam dada, jani na, ami alpo alpo bangla janni and tara tarri that’s it. But god her eyes sharpened at the corners, and stretched like the ideals of goddess durga. Suddenly those sharpened eyes looked at me, in that one moment I lived a thousand lives, that threshold, a constant moment that releases colossal energy and made this life a better place. But that moment had to be over, as it did exactly in 0.2 milliseconds. She once again lost into her book. Once again her phone ringed, she picked it up,
“Hello… Yeah I am here… Oh no yar… Ok… Ok… can you please spell it for me… ok… Aditi apartments Greater kailash Phase second.” She took note at the back of the her book and hang up the phone.
“Excuse me do you know where Greater Kailash is?” She finally break the ice.
“Oh hell yeah.” I thought in my mind looking at her, so it was obvious that her friend(s) ditched her and now she had to go there all by herself, first I thought to tell her that how beautiful she was looking, and second to offer her a cab ride all the way to Greater kailesh as I was also heading towards Lajpat nagar. But then this order might make me a psycho killer, so I dropped the idea and simply shook my head. She stood and took her bag and baggage and faded like cotton candy. I took out my phone and booked a cab to Lajpat nagar 10 mins the countdown showed. I picked up my stuff and headed towards the exit gate. The notification bell rang quiet diligently, I pulled it down, It said you are sharing this ride with S. Majumdar. I opened the app and noticed that I accidently booked a sharing cab, in no time I pressed the cancel button but suddenly a car came by and started honking, I looked at the number plate and it matched the car number on my notification panel, I looked inside and saw a dark figure sitting. Some strange feeling tangled my heart so I cancelled the cancellation and pulled the doors, suddenly a familiar fragrance of roses burst its charm. The car made its way swiftly through the narrow lanes of Sarai Rohilla and reached ring road, a holy light emerged from the dark figure that filled me with little embarrassment and a little more happiness both at the same time. She looked at me I looked at her, she smiled, I smiled, she looked away, I looked away. There was no way that she was going to talk again, so that left me to begin a conversation.
“So Chetan Bhagat, huh?” I said without giving it a second thought, as they say connect your tongue with your mind.
She looked at me, wondering if I was talking on a phone, or being a Bat who just throw ultrasound into air in order to trap its prey.
I looked at her and rephrased my query “Do you like Chetan bhagat?”
“oh well I loveeeeee him, his stories are just perfect and relatable” She said taking out her phone, “See..”
She showed me her picture with Chetan Bhagat on her lock screen, the salt and pepper colored hair writer was embracing her from sideways and there was hardly a space between them for air to flow.
“Lucky bastard” I whispered
“What?” She said
“No.. nothing” I said returning her phone, “Where did you meet him?”
“Back in Kolkata where he came for his book launch.” She said elegantly.
I couldn’t stop looking at her. Her eyes were like dream which could easily be seen but quite hard to pursue. It took me a long time to stop staring and start focusing. I didn’t wanna turn into a reckless creep in the end of her consciousness. While I was hovering in the pool of my mental sickness, I happen to look at her bag’s keychain that had a long dollar sign embedded with shiny stones. Suddenly I felt a little frustrated.
“Don’t tell me that your name is Sneha?” I asked her out of frustration.
“Ho…how do you know?” She said looking at me strangely.
“Really?” I looked at the dark sky and asked god.
Obviously he didn’t replied, as he was busy doing nothing productive for the sake of his children.
First I thought about telling her about my day, but then I thought it wasn’t a great idea, as things could go off road and I could turned out to be a big looser.
“I just guessed” I said and smiled.
“Oh..” she looked petty relieved.
“So what else do you loveeeeeee besides Chetan bhagat” I asked stretching love a little.
“Well, almost everything food, dogs,…”
“Dog food?” I interrupted her and laughed.
“NO, hey!! I mean food COMMA dog COMMA Music COMMA books etc etc.” she said waving her book that causes a smelly paperback breeze.
The cab passed through the street near AIIMS and Sufderjung, people were scattered all over the pavements rolled in blankets, and their eyes were filled with hope and fear. Hope, to see a new morning and fear, of not having their loved ones beside them to see the new morning. Little children with contagious disease look at their mothers face, mothers looks at their husband face and husband looks above to the sky hoping for an alternate present, where no one has any disease and everyone lives happily ever after. But that alternate present is day by day becoming a universal and fundamental dream of every individual not because this present is not good enough to survive but because it is not what he wanted it to be. Death is uncertain but so as life.
“Why this place is so crowded?” she asked, coincidently she was observing the same thing.
“It’s a hospital, people from other state come here for free treatment” I said
“Where do they live?”
“On the street”
“Why? Why don’t they check-in into a hotel?”
Either she is a fool or a big simpleton or big rich simpleton.
“Madam if they could afford to check into a hotel, than why would they come in a government hospital?”
“oh.. well you know what I mean” she must have heard herself saying such stupid stuff.
“No I really don’t” I said,
she looked away. Embarrassed, or perhaps a little less judgemental.
The cab swiped the dirt of Moolchand and halt under the flashing signs of Aditi apartments.
“Mam your destination is arrived” the 3.5 rated cab driver said politely. Mysterious.
“This is me” Figuring out that she was the only “mam” in the back seat.
“Yeah, Vishal” I said noticing her shiny heart shaped ear rings.
“Sneha” She said with a big smile.
The moment was over, as she opened the gate, the yelling of street dogs penetrated the glove compartment searching for muscles less bones.
“Bye” she waved her hands.
I reciprocated her kindness and the car triggered back on the road of hitting one of the yelling dog.
Just when I dropped my hands on the seat, I felt a little something lying around, I picked it up, It was her book that she must’ve forgot to take. I picked it up and opened the first page.
Her name was penned along with a ten digit number.
I looked back to see, but the speeding car had crossed a couple of block and reached the future of nothingness.